Anant Agarwal, edX CEO
At the heart of everything we do at edX, our mission is to increase access to education and promote lifelong, continuous learning. Two years ago, we launched edX by offering high-quality college courses from our member universities, and this founding mission will always remain a strong focus. Recently, we launched our high school initiative—a collection of MOOCs specifically geared to high school students around the world. And, today, we are pleased to announce edX professional education courses.
Professional education will help us better serve those learners who use our courses to advance their careers, or organizations that wish to support continuing learning for their workforce. EdX professional education courses will be offered in a convenient manner, tailored to busy schedules, and will reduce costly travel time and expenses for both employers and employees.
As a nonprofit learning destination, we are continually exploring a variety of ways to sustain ourselves and enable our partners to continue offering free MOOCs to the world—everything from verified certificates to XSeries and course licensing. Professional education courses are fee-based and will help us further this goal of sustainability, for both edX and our partners.
The first professional education courses on edX are in subject areas such as innovation, energy, medicine and cybersecurity—topics of critical importance to a variety of industries today. They have been created by MIT Sloan School of Management, Rice University and Delft University of Technology, and most offer students continuing education or professional education credits, which many professionals need to maintain their licenses or employment.
Keep an eye on this space as we launch additional professional education courses in a variety of subjects in the near future, including a course from Davidson College geared towards educators about blended learning. Fees for our online professional education courses will vary per course with all courses offering a Verified Certificate of Achievement.
Professional education for a global audience
Many of our partner universities currently offer professional education—online, on campus or on-site at corporations—in a variety of subject areas. Corporations have approached edX and our partners looking for specialized courses to arm their employees with knowledge necessary to stay at the forefront of their industries.
Our partners will now be able to bring their professional education to a broader learner base for significantly less cost to both employers and their employees. EdX professional education will enable organizations and universities to leverage the edX platform and use our cutting-edge technology to deliver courses to help advance professionals’ careers, increase workplace effectiveness and maintain professional credentialing at a lower price for organizations and individuals.
From executive and continuing education to corporate and management training, edX professional education covers a wide variety of disciplines. Subject areas will include leadership, IT, business, education, engineering, communications, energy, big data and more.
Another option that we are starting to offer more broadly is the ability for our partners to host their courses on a white-labeled site, branded by the institution and powered by edX. We are rolling out this offering along with our professional education initiative. We’ve partnered with MIT Professional Education on Tackling the Challenges of Big Data and UT Austin on Energy Technology and Policy, and we look forward to working with our partners on additional white-labeled websites and courses in the future.
MOOCs will always be our focus
Delivering free education to everyone, everywhere will always be our focus. Paired with our new high school initiative, professional education allows us to expand our offerings, tailor courses to the unique needs of learners, and further promote a culture of lifelong learning.